Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wrapping up the semester!

Career Portfolio
Creating my career portfolio was a big project, but one that I know I will be happily using throughout the course of my professional career.  They really gives you the opportunity to show off your personality and show what your resume can't.  My career portfolio not only has my resume and projects on it, but it also contains my personal mission statement, a page about my experience in the Disney College Program, and information and articles that I find interesting about the Hospitality industry.

Personal Learning Network
Throughout this semester I have been developing my Personal Learning Network which has helped me find professionals around the world would are involved in the hospitality industry in some way.  I have also been sharing articles about the industry and re-tweeting certain tweets that I personally find interesting.  I have also been posting my blog on my Twitter to share what I have been doing in my class.

Hanging out
One interesting thing about this class was the guest speakers.  Instead of people coming in to talk to us, our professor had people like Austronaut Abby, Cameron Brenchly, and Robyn Hrivnatz speak to us over Google Hangouts.  This is truly the way to go with education now because it lets you connect with people that you normally wouldn't be able to .  If it wasn't for Google Hangouts we probably wouldn't have had the type of speakers that we did.

Zookazam- my favorite class day
Learning about Zookazam and other augmented reality apps was really exciting!  I had never heard about any of them before and I was instantly fascinated by how it worked.  I showed everyone the app and how it created animals right before your eyes.

What's next?
Graduation is 18 days away and I'm very excited!  So what's next for me? Well since you asked, the day after graduation I will leaving to join the American Cruise Lines for a summer long internship program aboard on of their luxury river cruise ships. I believe that this internship is going to be a great opportunity and amazing experience.  Not only will I be gaining valuable experience in an ever growing part of the hospitality industry, but I will also be gaining experience in an environment and market that I have personally never worked in before.  I'm am excited for my new adventure and my first journey into the world post-graduation.  WISH ME LUCK!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Always Learning!

Robyn Hrivnatz
This past week my class was able to connect with Robyn Hrivnatz through Google Hangouts.  She works at Microsoft in their US Education division.  Her primary job is to work on curriculum development for professional learning for teachers and she also oversees their Microsoft Innovative Educator Teacher Program.  Robyn talked about how in her career she uses social media to keep up with what is going on in the world of education and also with the competition.  It is extremely important to keep up with what your competition is doing throughout any industry, and social media is an easy way to do that.  It is also a good way to find out what your customers want and an easy way to listen to them.

Robyn says that with her job, their customers are educators and students and social media makes it easy to connect with them due to it almost instantaneous results. She also talked about other ways that social media is incorporated into the Microsoft company, such as the twitter handles and other accounts that respond to customers via social media.  Below is the full video of Robyn talking to my class!

MakeyMakey Class Activity
In my class the other day we had fun with these electric circuit boards called Makey Makeys! All the groups used items such as PlayDoh, aluminum foil, and bananas to create electrical currents and control a computer game.  

My group chose to play Frogger! We used a banana to control the left movement, the foil to control the forward and backward movement, and PlayDoh to control the right movements.  We did this with the help of the MakeyMakey control boards which was attached to the objects via color coded wires and to the computer through a USB cord.  It was so amazing, how we could control the game using these random household objects!

Connected Educator - What the Future Holds
In chapter 9 of the Connected Educator, by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall, it talks about how the internet is so much more than what people are really utilizing it for.  It isn't just a place to find information, but a way to connect with people from all over the world who we can share our ideas, opinions, and imaginations with.  It is an amazing resource for learning!  People learn so much differently now than they did when technology wasn't so prominent in education and educators need to keep up to date on the newest ways to teach and learn because as technology evolves, so must educators and other people using it within their careers.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Can Social Media GET Any Easier?

Integrating websites with Social Media
Here are some websites that you can integrate into your social media to make your site as personal or as professional as you'd like.
The first is called About.me.  This can be as simple as a picture and a bio but can also add in your interests, a spotlight on maybe your blog or your personal website, and your career or education.  On my About.me page, I have a picture of myself, a bio, five interests, a link to my career portfolio, links to my twitter, blogger, and Linkedin, and my education.  This is something that can be easily added to your twitter, blog, or website that can give people more information about who you are.  Also, you aren't limited to 160 characters!
Paper.li is another easy way to spice up your social media feed.  All you have to do is type in what you are interested in and it will automatically generate a daily newspaper featuring articles that have to do with those topics.  My Paper.li is called The Hospitality Daily and focuses on articles that have to do with the hospitality industry.  It's a simple website to navigate but here's an article that gives you 5 easy steps to become a published on Paper.li. I also have my newspaper linked up to my twitter.  Everyday Paper.li generates a tweet for me than has a link to The Hospitality Daily and also names people on twitter that are mentioned in those articles. Here's an example of the tweet that the website generates!

 Another fun website to help you save time, similar to how Paper.li automatically generates a tweet, is IFTTT, which stands for If That Then This.  One the website you generate and publish recipes that can take a simple step out of your daily routine.  Some fun recipes are "If someone follows me on twitter, then send them a welcome tweet", "If I post a picture on Instagram, then post it on twitter as well", or my favorite "If the forecast is rain, then send me a text to wear rain boots".  This article by Trevor Dobrygoski talks about 35 Super Useful IFTTT Recipes that you can look at to help understand the concept.  Also, if you remember me mentioning Evernote, here's an article by Taylor Pipes that will help the avid Evernote user utilize all that their Evernote is capable of through IFTTT.
The recipe that I created on the website was "If I publish a blog post on blogger, then generate a tweet on my twitter page".  This is going to make things easier for me personally because every time I publish a blog post for my class I also have to post it on twitter.  Since this is part of my grade I now don't have to worry about forgetting to tweet about my new blog post!

Creating a Career Portfolio
Currently working on creating my own personal website on Weebly.  You can check out my Career Portfolio while it's under construction!

Untangling the Web ~ Social Networking Tools
Chapter 4 of Untangling the Web by Steve Dembo and Adam Bellow talks all amount social networking tools and ones that students and educators can use inside and outside of the classroom. 

TodaysMeet - A way to integrate social media outlets into a controlled environment.  TodaysMeet is a back channel that teachers can use to have real-time discussions with their students over videos, questions, "do nows", and more.  The rooms created also delete after a certain time as well which makes it even more private than a regular private discussion forum.

Skype (in the classroom) - Skype is a form of video chatting that helps you connect with people around the world.  Skype in the classroom however, makes it more classroom friendly.  This is because of the added features such as the ability to search for experts or have your classroom volunteer to share what they are studying as well.  The search engine also gives information about each individual you search to help you connect with the expert that will benefit your students the most.  Video chatting is a simple way to bring in professionals from all over the world.

Kidblog - This is a blog site set up specifically for students and teachers.  The authors say that students are less likely to use the technology inappropriately (cyber bullying for instance) because a teacher is monitoring the posts.  It is a great way for students to not only express their ideas, but also their creativity!

Edmodo - This is a social network designed specifically for schools.  Teachers and students can connects through notes, alert, quizzes, assignments, and polls and can also share hyperlinks for outside sources.  Parents also get a code that they can use to monitor their students progress.  This is a lot like the tool Blackboard that we use at Stockton University where our professors post our assignments, test, quizzes, and also discussion posts.

Twitter - As you know from my previous posts, my class is using twitter to create Personal Learning Networks.  Mine is a network of travel and hospitality professionals and pages because that is the field that I am hoping to get into.  Another way that twitter can be used in a classroom setting is by teachers helping students connect to professionals, just like Adam Taylor with #scistuchat.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How Social Media Can Ruin Your Career

So how can social media ruin your life? 
This week my class took to the internet to find professionals in our own fields of study that were fired because of something on social media.  Below is my presentation on two pilots that were fired due to pictures that a model posted of them on her twitter

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Two pilots fired for letting bikini model into the cockpit of their airplane and telling her that she could control the plane during takeoff.
The two pilots, Fredrico Soaje and Patricio Zocchi let a 29-year-old model named Vicky Xipolatakis in the cockpit of the plane that they were about to fly.  Not only did Vicky post selfies with the pilots on twitter, but she also posted a video of the controls and of the pilots saying that she could control the plane during takeoff.  
No one is allowed inside the cockpit of a plane unless authorized by regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration, which is why this was an issue.  
After 9/11 the rules and regulations became more strict in hope of keeping people safe.  They also put at risk all of the people on that plane.  Both pilots have been fired from Austral airlines and are facing $10 million in lawsuits and 2-8 years in prison. Vicky is also facing charges.  Fredrico and Patricio let Vicky into the cockpit knowing that it was against the rules and regulations and because of her posts on social media, they had to pay a huge price.  

Connected Educator
There are so many ways to teach and learn by using the internet.  I can't imagine education WITHOUT it!  So what are some ways to connect with learners using the internet?  Well, there are blogs, bookmarking tools (find some examples in my earlier blog post), podcasts, social media, wikis, google docs (another earlier blog post), and more!  Chapter 5 of the Connected Educator by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall talks about these types of tools and how to utilize them!  

Blogs are a great way to share information about any topic that you want.  You can use them personally or professionally as well.  Basically, they're just public journals.  Some popular blog websites are Tumblr, Blogger (which you obviously know about), Weebly, and a popular one for educators is Edublog which helps schools and teacher provide a window into the classrooms.

Podcasts are audio recording that can be posted on the internet or downloaded to a smart phone, computer, iPod, or any other audio playing device.  Podomatic is a free site that lets record audio or video recordings.  If you're going to make a podcast you would just want to use the audio setting.  Musicians used to use podcasts as a way to let their fans know what they were up to when they were on the road, but it can also be used for educational purposes.  Julie DeNeen posted an article of 50 educational podcasts, and I'm sure there's a ton more.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Apps for Days!

All the Apps that You Could Ever Imagine!
Have you ever heard of Augmented Reality (AR)? Well it's a very cool, very real bit of magic that you can bring into any moment using just your SMART PHONE!  It basically makes a 4-D image pop up out of nowhere due to, explained by Drew Minock "overlaying computer generated images, or other data, on a real-life environment."  
My favorite app that we learned about was Zookazam! Which puts animals right in the palm of your hand, as you can see in the picture below.  A great article about Zookazam explains the great features of this app, including how teachers can use it in the classroom as a creative and intellectual tool.  My favorite idea from the article is having students create a habitat and placing the animal in it using the app.

Can't get over this app! @zookazam #gen2243 #zookazamapp pic.twitter.com/LCmpdAXw1s
Archaeologists are even using this technology to see and smell the past.  With another AR app called Dead Mans Nose which emits odors as you pass certain locations.  This can help Archaeologists not only visit sites, but LIVE them as well, serving as a window into the past.

Google Cardboard!
Basically Google Cardboard is the coolest thing since sliced bread.  It is an app that can transport you anywhere! 

 All you have to do is have the cardboard box that goes with it, insert your phone, and you're transported anywhere around the world!  It reminds me of those cool picture changing toys we had as kids, but obviously more technologically advanced and more fun!

App Smackdown
Here are some other awesome apps that my classmates taught me about this week!

Adobe Sketch is a fun app, especially for all you artists out there! One cool thing about it is that you can put in a picture, trace it, and then make the picture go transparent so that you only see the trace.  Also, all of your drawings are backed up onto the cloud.

Where To Go? This app makes it easy to find any type of business or transportation while you are in an area that you aren't used to!  You can look for food, gas, hotels, clothing, groceries, and more.  The app also has a handy tip calculator to help you out when you go out to eat!

Color Therapy is a fun way to be creative with coloring templates!

Uber is an app that helps you find a ride.  The drivers for Uber are all background checked and have their cars nice and clean, from my own experiences.  It's not to expensive and is an easy way to get from point A to point B.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Astronauts and Presentations.

Astronaut Abby!
Abigail Harrison is a young woman with a big dream, to be the first astronaut on Mars.  Abby's dream grew into so much more when she started using social media to reach out to people and learn more about what she wanted to do.  The growth of her social media accounts have given her the opportunity to not only run her own programs, like Mars Generation which is a non-profit preparing the students of today to become the leaders of tomorrow, but she was also selected to be the Earth liaison to Italian Astronaut, Luca Parmitano, while he was up in the space station.  One tip that she gave my class was not to over expose yourself and to only focus on the social media accounts that help you the most, which for her were Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  Good luck to Abby! I can't wait to hear about her adventures!

In Other Space Related News..
Scott Kelly has returned from a year on the International Space Station!  His recent return was documented on Snapchat for everyone to see! Here are some pictures capturing the exciting day!

Okay, Now Let's Stop Spacing Out and Look at Some Presentation Tools!
In the semester where I have been doing the least amount of presentation, and my last semester of college, I finally learn about all of these presentation tools that are so much better than just standing in front of a PowerPoint presentation.  A presentation is supposed to be more than just reading off slides.  In fact, the slides are mostly there for "decoration" and shouldn't be the entire presentation.  There are some tools that allow you to create a more interesting backdrop for your presentation.  Some examples include Animoto, Emaze, Office Mix, Haiku Deck, Powtoon, and more!  The two that I have found easy to navigate and fun to use are Animoto and Emaze.

Animoto is more of a video presentation.  It offers you templates and then you place in the pictures and text.  After picking a song you can add in as many pictures and text boxes as it takes to finish the song.  The one thing I liked about this tool was that it only let you add a certain amount of text to each slide, limiting you so that there isn't too much.  Here's a video that I made on Animoto.com promoting my major here at Stockton University.

Emaze is also run by templates that you can choose from.  All you have to do is add the pictures and writing and you're good to go.  It is very interesting because a lot of the templates are 3-D, making the presentation more creative.  It is also similar to a video with the ability to add notes, voice, and set timing.  Here's a basic Emaze presentation that I made about what I'm doing for Spring break.  

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Here's Some Article's About More Presentation Tools..
Microsoft Sway - if you're presenting over the computer, then Sway is perfect for you!  With the cloud being utilized, Sway presentations can be viewed anywhere without formatting problems and also embedded onto websites and blogs.  The editing is also based on a story line, making the editing easy for everyone.

GoAnimate - Similar to Animoto, GoAnimate is a video presentation that comes with backgrounds, templates, characters, and even languages and accents for the characters.  This is a great tool for teachers to use because if your class is registered then students presentations cannot be viewed by the public.

Office Mix - This is a free expansion for anyone who already owns PowerPoint on their computer.  You can even take PowerPoint presentations that you have already made and upload them to Office Mix to upgrade it!  With this expansion you can add video and voice to the presentation, draw and mark up the slides during the presentation, and you can also embed your presentations.  This tool is keeping PowerPoint alive in the midst of all of these fascinating new tools.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

TED Talks and Twitter

This week my class had a webinar guest, Adam Taylor, a high school science teacher who started #scistuchat, a was for students, teachers, and scientists from around the world to connect on twitter.   Adam has connected with around 400-500 scientists from around 150 countries around the globe to participate in a monthly discussion about different topics having to do with science.  They use moderators to keep the conversation steady and educational and have made some memorable connections, including the US Department of Energy.  

Adam has made his connections through twitter by first finding out that certain scientists were on twitter and then contacting them.  From there, his PLN grew into the thousands.  He categorizes people into lists on his twitter (his Women in Science list has 590 members.. WOW!) to keep it organize!  
One tip from Adam about growing your PLN is that the number of followers doesn't matter, it's the connections that are important. Check out the full webcast below!

Presentation Tools
Everyone knows about PowerPoint, but did you know that there are a bunch of tools to help you make presentations?  Presenting has grown past PowerPoint and its original uses, to aid someones verbal presentation, and online tools have become very beneficial.  Some online tools that you can use are Slideshare, Prezi, VoiceThread, and Poll Everywhere.  

Prezi is a tool, just like PowerPoint where you make slides and put information on them.  Instead of just having a bunch of info on each slide, the Prezi makes the presentation more entertaining and interesting!  One of my teachers used a template that looked like a tree, with each leaf being a different slide.  The presentation was shown by hopping from leaf to leaf!  And the presentations don't have to be linear either.  The presenter can lay the information on a canvas and draw a path and click through it! So much more interesting than PowerPoint.

Slideshare is a tool that lets people share presentations to people around the globe!  Everything you upload automatically gets converted into their format and gives others the ability to look through everything without having to download it.  If your teachers or other professionals in your field are using it than it's a great tool because it can catch you up on things you may have missed at a conference, in the classroom, or give you the opportunity to see what other's in your industry are studying and presenting about.

Poll Everywhere is great because it can be connected to your phone.  A teacher can poll a question, multiple choice or open ended, and students can have it sent to their phones and answer instantaneously.  A free teacher profile gives you the opportunity to get forty responses to polls and also download the polls into a PowerPoint.  With a paid subscription you can do even more like upload student names, input the correct answer to the poll, and have the site automatically grade the students based on their answers.

VoiceThread gives you the ability to share videos and photos along with comments.  These comments can be through text, audio, or video.  It is a really great tool for digital storytelling and even though it is simple, it's effective.  There is also a paid subscription version of Voicethread where you can create student accounts and upload unlimited files.

Ted Talks, Have a life that is truly awesome.

Some of you may have heard of TED Talks and some of you may not.  You're thinking, "who is Ted and why would I wanna listen to him talk?"  But TED is actually a nonprofit organization that has one mission, to spread ideas.  You can either go to conferences or watch online to listen to extremely amazing people speak about a myriad of different topics from The Mysterious World of Underwater Caves to Failure or even the Piano.  

One video that I personally really like is Neil Pasricha: The 3 A's of Awesome.  Even through a really tough time in his life, Neil was able to look at life and realize how awesome it is.  Through Neils experiences, he started to write a blog called 1000 Awesome Things which eventually went viral and earned him a Webi for Best Blog of the Year and a book called The Book of Awesome.  In the TED Talk Neil talks about the 3 A's of awesome, attitude, awareness, and authenticity, and how living with these three A's in mind will make life awesome.  Our attitude make our lives better or worse.  You can hit a slump in your life and feel bad about yourself and have a bad attitude and it's not going to get any better, but with a good attitude you can make it through any day.  With awareness, he mentions how it's like being a 3 year old discovering the world for the first time.  Always be aware because at one time you too saw something for the first time and never let go of that feeling of amazement and excitement.  Authenticity is about being true to who you are and loving who you are.  For instance, I am very passionate about travel and when I have the opportunity, and finances, to travel I do it.  Some people look down upon spending your money rather than saving, but I believe that the experiences I have from travelling make life awesome.  Now go give yourself an awesome life.

Some other awesome TED Talks

Monica Lewinsky: The Price of Shame - Monica Lewinsky talks about her experience with cyber bullying and shame.  Getting through a seriously rough time when her life where compassion and empathy outweighed the shame.  She said that we need to change our culture and stop the shaming.  

Rite Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion - Rita Pierson talks about her years as an educator and how the teachers attitude and presence in the classroom can change the education and confidence of any child. "I am somebody.  I was somebody when I came, I'll be a better somebody when I leave.  I am powerful and I am strong. I deserve the education that I get here.  I have things to do, people to impress, and places to go."